Change of circumstances

We need to know about changes that could reduce or stop your payment.

If you don’t tell us when these changes happen, you may be doing the wrong thing.

What to tell us

You must tell us if you:

  • marry or start or stop living with your partner
  • separate from your partner
  • start or stop being the main carer, including caring for a child
  • don’t have to lodge a tax return
  • leave Australia to live in another country, or leave Australia for a short time.

You must also tell us if:

  • your home address changes
  • your income or assets change
  • your partner’s income or assets change
  • your work or study load changes
  • anything else happens that might change your payment.

If you separate from your partner you may be able to get the single with dependent children payment rate. You’ll need to complete the:

How and when to tell us

The easiest way to tell us about changes is through our self service options.

You need to tell us within 14 days about any changes of circumstances. If you have mutual obligation requirements you need to tell us on the day you’re due to report.

Make sure your details are up to date in myGov.

It’s never too late to report a change.

What happens if you don’t tell us

If you don’t tell us about changes in your life, we may pay you too much. If this happens you’ll have to pay the money back, plus a fee.

If you deliberately don’t tell us about changes, we could charge you with fraud.

Read how to avoid fraud.

What if you get sick or injured

You can stay on Newstart Allowance if you get sick or injured and can’t work as much for a while.

We’ll need a medical certificate from your doctor that says you can’t work for at least 8 hours a week.

Read more about what happens if you get sick or injured.

Page last updated: 9 January 2020